The Pennsylvania Superior Court in DeCrosta v. Erie Insurance Group, No. 2982 E.D.A. 2016 (Pa. Super. Oct. 18, 2017) issued a non-precedential decision affirming the entry of summary judgment in favor of Erie determining that the insured was not entitled to stacked UIM coverage.
DeCrosta was injured in a motor vehicle accident in February of 2012. Neither party disputed that she was entitled to UIM benefits under her policy but DeCrosta attempted to dispute the validity of a 2004 waiver of stacking form. DeCrosta admitted that she signed the waiver of stacking form but claimed that an anonymous person dated the form. She further argued that summary judgment was not appropriate since there were disputed facts of record as to the validity of her waiver form. The appellate court rejected the DeCrosta’s arguments with respect to the waiver form finding that there are no requirements under the statute that the signed waiver must be dated by the insured. The Superior Court further noted that, in order to be valid under 1738(d) of the MVFRL, a stacked waiver form only needs to be signed by the insured. The Court confirmed that it not going to impose any duties or requirements not specified in the statute. Therefore, since there was no dispute that the insured had signed the waiver form, the Superior Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the signed 2004 waiver form was valid, and the validity of the form did not hinge on who dated the document.
DeCrosta raised a second issue on appeal claiming a new stacked waiver form was required when she added a new vehicle to the policy in 2006 and that the Erie policy was ambiguous in defining a replacement vehicle. The Superior Court rejected DeCrosta’s arguments relying on Pennsylvania case law that holds that in a case of a replacement vehicle, with no change in coverage, and the only change is the identity of the covered vehicle, a new stacked waiver form is not required. The Court affirmed the lower court and held that the vehicle added in 2006 was a replacement vehicle and there was no requirement for Erie to have a new stacked waiver form signed at that time. Therefore, the signed 2004 stacked waiver form was valid and enforceable entitling Erie to summary judgment.
Questions regarding this case can be directed to Randy T. Burch, Esquire.